When an AV show takes place for the first time in a part of the country that has never experienced one, the hopes of one and all are high. Hyderabad is considered as the ideal city to have such a show what with the target audience being extremely fond of their music & movies. The majority of these enthusiasts also have the where with all to spend and also have the luxury of real estate to do justice to their spending, which is quite rare these days in general. Hence the show should ideally be a huge hit.
From what we saw from Thursday afternoon to the late evening on Sunday, it was by all accounts a relative success but there is always room for improvement and that is where we shall focus on in this piece.
Starting from the venue, which is well known in the local circuit to be one that is pretty much a nonentity these days as far as being one visited by the local well heeled populace, it became pretty apparent from Thursday itself as for why this was the case.
Secondly, we have pretty much given up on trying to promote the show as time & again, our pleas to get the information on who is exhibiting which brands & their specific models, goes on deaf ears & now it has become a truly futile attempt to get the desired information from either the show organisers or the exhibitors, who by their behaviour with regard to sharing the relevant information, appear to be still in kindergarten & believe in keeping everything a secret! How does it help to grow the audience of such a show if you do not believe in divulging any information to the target audience, therby making it not a priority for them to attend & look at other things to do during the weekend of the show? We are constantly provided with such feedback from disgruntled AV enthusiasts, who now don’t even bother to think about visiting the show. It is sad to see the enthusiasm being killed by such childish mentality of the exhibitors and being disrespectful towards the target audience as well. Ok, so then the show is targeted towards the industry itself as it becomes more of a B2B, than a B2C show. If that is the case, then it should purely focus on this aspect & put an end towards AV enthusiasts, prospective buyers, end users as being the targeted audience for the same. There is no point for the show organisers to spend tidy sums by means of advertising in local newspapers, digital media & other such avenues, which am sure they wouldn’t mind as their profits will no doubt be much more if they went down this path.
Another recurring issue is that of static displays, which inspite of doing no favours to the visiting audience yet the trend continues, which is disappointing to say the very least.
Overall, the show could have been much better, more involving & get much more traction, had the organisers & exhibitors being more enthusiastic towards achieving the common goal.
We hope that our observations are taken into consideration positively and they help in improving the quality of the shows in the future to ensure growth for the AV Industry & Target Audience.
The 11th edition of the What Hi-Fi? Show 2019, took place at the Trident, Hitec City, Hyderabad, from the 30th August to 1st September 2019. We were present from the day before the show started right till it was pack up time on the last day, to cover the event as well as assist a few of our friends from the AV Industry, who were participating in the show.
We will therefore cover each of the rooms that we entered and provide our audience with the details of the brands and models show cased, room wise.
We start with the 2 Ball Rooms that were taken by the following:
Preeti Trading Corporation (PTC):
The main sponsors of the What Hi-Fi? Show were as is customary for them present by means of showcasing their wares in a Ball Room, but this time, they had been very smart and used the size of the room to ideally showcase their Home Theatre Demo, which consisted of the under noted:
Static Display –
Tower Speakers (Monitor 300 & Silver 200) Series
In Wall & In Ceiling Speakers (Iw460x and cpct380idc)
AVR’s (S series 650, 750 and 950)
Demo Setup –
Pro Audio Technology
LCR SCRS 12SM
Surrounds SCRS 6iwp
Atmos Speakers – SCRS 25ica
Subwoofers – SCRS 14sm
Retail price – 49 lakhs
We were extremely happy to hear and see the outcome as we were pretty disappointed with their efforts at the last show and were not at all complimentary in conveying the same to the big boos at PTC. Our constructive criticism seems to have worked as the outcome of their approach with respect to this show was totally different and one that worked positively in their favour.
We particularly enjoyed their home theatre set up which whilst not only had the impact and punch that one expects from a install in a large room but one that also gave the visiting hyderabadi people, a sense of scale that can be achieved, what with them being blessed with large rooms & real estate available to do justice to a home theatre scenario.
Good Job, team PTC, you guys definitely surprised us with your room this time!
BenQ used the entire room area to demo the range of models they have and also a few on static display. Details of all the models are provided in the pics attached.
1217 – MONEE & CO
The range of KLH speakers in Book Shelf, Tower, Surround, Inwall & Inceiling speakers were showcased, in stereo, home theatre & static display.
1219 – VINSHEK
Elan Home Automation products and accessories, Rako Control Panel Switches & Fusion Research Audio Server were showcased here.
1221 – CINEBELS (JAMO)
The Jamo range of subwoofers, tower speakers and book shelf speakers greeted us at one side, garden speakers on the opposite with plywood wall of inwall & in ceiling speakers on static display. The other end of the room had a home theatre demo of Jamo speakers and the adjoin suite room had a full blown THX certified Jamo Speakers 5.1.2 Atmos enabled set up on demo. The side area of the room had some static THX certified speakers along with in ceiling speakers on display.
1223 – RECLINERS INDIA
The new range of recliners from Recliners India were on demo/display here. Most people visited this room and it was always full. Recliners India also had a placard placed outside their room stating their achievements, service criteria amongst their other USP’s.
1224 – VINSHEK
Waterfall Audio Speakers in floor standing, in wall/in ceiling & subwoofers, were on demo and static display here. The Victoria speakers were very attractive to look at but sadly the room acoustics did not support the speaker’s performance in the truest sense, as they sounded their best at lower to moderate volumes. It was good to see them nonetheless.
1225 – RIVERA INTERNATIONAL
Amina Invisible Speakers and Audio Vector QR Series in home theatre application. We were pleasantly surprised at the performance of the Amina Speakers in this configuration and commend team Rivera International for managing such a impressive result. We are sure that most visitors must have been impressed as well.
1226 – NUCLEUS AV
The Lyravox Stereomaster SM3-150 & SM2-170 were showcased to good effect, targeted to the well heeled HNI looking for a truly hi-end stereo solution.
1227 – NEXUS AUDIO VIDEO
The combination of PMC IB1S Transmission Line Speakers with Octave V80SE Integrated Tube Amplifier & AVM MP3.2 CD Player with Streamer were well matched & delivered the results in an emphatic manner. There was no contest once again though the set up really came into its own from Saturday onwards. Yes, the man behind Nexus AV always finds the proverbial pin of a hand grenade, which he pulled off masterfully to showcase his talent into the art of setting up a kick ass system in a horribly designed hotel room. No fancy acoustic panels, isolating devices, power conditioners nor any gimmickry involved here! Some incredible music heard once again, thanks to the CD collection that accompanied as part of the playlist.
Sadly, the setup involved doesn’t come cheap & is privy only to those who can afford the same!
1228 – VIEWSONIC
Another room used to cram as much product as possible, what with Projectors firing to Screens in every possible space of the room. Quick click of pics will show the needful.
1229 – LUXURY PERSONIFIED LLP
Devialet Phantom Reactors belting out loud sound throughout the day, every single day, without fail. Bang, bang & more bang!
1230 – M Z Audio
Q Acoustics Concept 40 in a 5.1 home theatre set up with Marantz Pre/Power were showcased in the main room of the suite. The adjoining room had Q Acoustics Concept 500 with Marantz PM10 & SA10 hooked up, which sadly the majority did not even hear thanks to the notion that only home theatre demo was possible in the said room. An even bigger pity was the presence of the new Concept 300’s albeit on static display at the event registration area. One big opportunity missed to show case these raved about speakers, which sadly we won’t have a chance of listening to thanks to various reasons involved.
1231 – SURROUND SWAR
XTZ Speakers, subwoofers & PSA Subwoofers were on demo in a dolby atmos 5.2.2 configuration, along with Eltax 5.0 Speakers & Tangent 3.0 Speakers Sets, as static displays in the room. The good folk behind Surround swar tried their best to dial in the monstrous subs throughout the show & what we heard gave us enough to rate their set up as that being highly capable to deliver the goods to a movie crazy enthusiast craving for good quality bass extension. We hope to review some of the XTZ speakers in the near future.
On demo were the following:
Cinema M8 Tower speakers
Cinema M8 Center speaker
Cinema S5 Surrounds speakers
Cinema S2 Atmos speakers Upfiring Modules
DS12.17 sealed dual 12” Subwoofer (Debut at the show)
D12.17 sealed side firing dual 12” Subwoofer (Debut at the show)
PSA V1510 15” Ported Subwoofer
1233 – SOUNDTRAILS
Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs Inc., are now officially represented in India by Soundtrails, which was a good surprise to us & to those who visited their room. Mofi Electronics by way of the Ultra & Studio Decks & Phono Stages were on demo along with Vinyl Accessories & Vinyls displayed alongside. We look forward to reviewing the Mofi Electronics in the near future.
1234 – MUSIC & MOUNTS
Axiom Wireless Speakers, the M5HP & M100 were on demo along with numerous inwall & onwall speakers on static display, with Clicktronic & Goobay Wires. The source was compromised hence we could not really get a good idea of these Axioms. Hopefully these will be sent for review to us in the future.
1235 – SIGHT & SOUND INDIA PVT. LTD.
Aero Digital products were showcased which consisted of Mirror TV’s Digital Displays, Digital Standees & 2 Way Digital Displays. We are always impressed by the price to performance ratio that Aero Digital Products deliver upon and definitely see them growing in stature as the years go by.
1236 – ACOUSTIC PORTRAIT
It has been a long while since we heard Acoustic Portrait products and that too consisting of the entire chain, which certainly was a bonus for us as we have always felt that their synergy is best achieved when they entire chain involved consists of their own products. On demo were the new speakers called Naadam, along with Thiyaga DAC & Thiyaga Power Amplifier with Volume Control.
It was also a pleasure to meet the people behind Acoustic Portrait, namely Jaya & Siva, who were very warm and gave their audience ample time to listen to their products. Acoustic Portrait also had the Kavi Active Studio Monitors at hand with their outboard Electronics, which sadly we could not hear due to being busy during the time they were brought into action. Nevertheless, the setup we heard that costs just under Rupees Ten Lakhs (excluding cables) was in our humble opinion a true winner and undoubtedly the star of the show.
The icing on the cake were the Indian Classical Music CD’s that Acoustic Portrait have for sale under their own label. These are some of the best recorded CD’s once can currently find in the market & are a real source of pleasure to those who love this genre of music. Acoustic Portrait also offer MP3(320 kbps) Studio Master FLAC Digital Downloads(24bit/192kHz) of the music via their website.
For those looking at investing in a quality stereo setup that will last a long time without the need for upgrading, then we highly recommend you visit Acoustic Portrait in Bangalore to get a first hand experience of what they have to offer. The only caveat being that you have to buy all the links of the chain to get the desired results.
PTC presents What Hi-Fi? Show 2019 in association with Marantz|Q Acoustics and powered by BenQ, from 30th August to 1st September 2019, at Trident, Hitec City, Hyderabad.
Currently, we only know that the above entities are part of the show and that the show timings are from 11am to 7pm. We shall update on the brands participation and other allied information, once we are privy to the same. Till then expect it to be a khufiya show with one getting to know the rest only when one lands up at the Trident Hotel.
AK International, the new distributor for Focal Loudspeakers have just advised us that they will be showcasing the range of Focal Loudspeakers at the What Hi-Fi? Show 2019, to be held at the St.Regis Hotel, Mumbai during the 1st – 3rd of March 2019. A storm will be kicked up in the form of a new surprise that will be revealed during the show, yes, Focal are bringing something interesting to showcase in this show, be there to witness the same!
We will provide the coverage of the same post completion of the show, stay tuned!
We have just received information from the show organisers of the following brands taking part during the What Hi-Fi? Show 2019 – Mumbai, taking place from the 1st-3rd March 2019. We will be updating the same with respective models of these brands available for demo or on static display, once we receive more information. Do visit the show nonetheless!
Here is our coverage of the What Hi-Fi? Show 2018, Bengaluru Edition:-
Naturally the AV distribution heavyweights based out of Bengaluru were present in full force, starting off with:
Cinebels had taken 2 giant state rooms, one of which was showcasing Klipsch – Stereo, Home Theatre, Portable and Outdoor Speakers. Also on display were Vivitek Projectors.
There was a complete Dolby Atmos setup of Klipsch speakers with a 4K Vivitek Model No. HK2288 projector producing crisp pictures in a partially lit room.
The vintage looking Klipsch Forte III heritage speakers coupled with Primaluna tube amp sound was crisp yet edgy and loud with punch. The experience of heavy but tight bass!
Klipsch ‘The Sixes’ powered speakers had very impressive sound for their size. Garden / outdoor speakers were also on demo. There was a nicely arranged wall of Kilpsch speakers on static display. Various in wall / in ceiling speakers, bluetooth speakers were also on display.
The other room was a Jamo room – showcasing a big variety of speakers on demo. Of course the most eye catching pair were the flagship R909’s that too in Rosso Red! Unfortunately, the R909’s were only on static display.
Jamo is currently doing something on the visual front too as we liked the grey grill on white speakers. Similar to the Klipsch speakers layout, Jamo speakers were showcased and on demo in a home theatre, stereo environments. A soundbar and some bluetooth speakers were also on demo/display.
Pro-Fx showed it’s presence with a state room and 2 other rooms. Loads of gear from Denon, KEF and Polk audio were on display. There was really too much to see and experience. We were surprised to see a Denon Turntable Model:DP 300F connected to the KEF LS 50 powered speakers. Also on demo were a Chord Chordette DAC, Denon PMA 2500 NE amplifier and Denon DCD2000AE CD Player.
There was a live demo of Zipato home control and automation. Plenty of models from the likes of Denon AVR’s, KEF and Polk speakers range were on static display. A Polk Audio sound bar and wireless home theatre were also on demo.
Headphone zone was given lobby space in between state rooms and they made good use of it! It was most demo heavy space with a large amount of headphones covering in-ear to over the head, small to big, conventional to open back. Also headphone accessories, DAC’s and special headphone amplifiers were on display. It was one of the most popular exhibition areas of the show.
There were 2 distinct demo’s happening and highlight was Meridian digital speakers. Music was fed via ipad, still it sounded really good. There also was a demo of Domotz Pro Remote Network Monitoring Software and Network Management System. On static display were Barco home theatre projector and networking equipment of Niveo. Artcoustic and Nordkraft speakers / audio equipment were on static display.
TCS AG is a German hi quality manufacturer or switches, safety and related products. On display were switches with number of finishes options, as well as digital locks.
The usual suspects (Brands) were present and showcased yet again. PMC twenty5.24 Speakers with Octave V40SE Integrated Valve Amplifier + Octave Black Box Outboard Power Supply and AVM CD 5.2T CD Player. Keeping the horrible room acoustics accompanied by the added ‘Noise Floor’(Pun heavily intended), the Nexus Audio team yet again pulled out the veritable rabbit out of their hat, which we are now so accustomed to. We appreciate their ‘out of the box’ thinking(yet another pun heavily intended) and hope that they continue to maintain their lofty standards in future as well.
Little Nap Designs Pvt. Ltd.:
Many comfortable recliners on display. New finishes mimicking luxury car seats were on display.
India’s home grown home / hotel automation giant. It was only presentation room very few products on display. They had a nice presentation of Casa Digi capabilities by their team.
One room had Amina invisible speakers and Acoustic Energy speakers on display. What we were impressed with was the very tiny Acoustic Energy powered satellite subwoofer. It is designed to be placed on a table top and for it’s size and footprint, dished out full bodied sound.
The second room can easily be recalled as a muscle room as it had Bryston gear powering Audio Vector towers. The set-up consisted of Bryston – BP17³ Preamplifier, 4B³ Power Amplifier and BCD-3 CD Player were paired with Audio Vector SR3 Avantgarde
The ever enthusiastic demo personnel was keen to showcase what this set up could do as far as spl delivering capabilities are concerned and truly turned up with volume on a Rammstein track. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves to say the least, much to the chagrin of the big boss of Rivera International. This was one crazy setup showcasing what amplifier power and it’s grip on speakers is all about!
MZ Audio Distribution:
MZ audio was present in 2 adjacent rooms – one for home theatre demo room with Marantz AVR and Q acoustic speakers. Morel speakers were on static display. The other room was a dedicated stereo demo room where the flagship Taga harmony bookshelves were displayed with flagship Marantz CD player and Amplifier. On static display were Audica multiroom solutions and in wall / on wall speakers.
Possibly the most talked about room as they displayed a headphone system costing ‘hold your breath’ 45 lakh rupees! The demo was availed by prior appointment only. We agree that it was one of the most relaxed demo ever. The headphone amplifier was mystical with automatic opening headphone cover and retracting valves. The sound was fantastic, but did it justify the price? That is the moot point and we leave it to being as subjective as ever!
The name synonymous with recliners, demoed a couple of luxury recliners. The price was high but real supple leather was really showcasing quality, feel and comfort.
Milan Sales Corporation:
The Indian screen specialist. There were 3 screens on which stunning visuals were projected. There was an innovative concept of the art screen, which basically is a retractable second screen on screen that you can custom print any image of your choice. It adds aesthetic appeal as well as help protecting the ‘real’ screen.
Reflex Audio is speaker manufacturer based out of Kolhapur, Maharashtra. On demo was a 7.2 demo kit comprising of satellite speakers with two subwoofers. This is what most of the HT buyer wants, decent sound with PUNCH at a going to be announced very attractive and VFM pricing. We shall update on the pricing once the Reflex Audio team provides the same to us.
The LG room was at the extreme end and probably hardly visited due to it’s nondescript location/lack of signage, packed surprising visuals. On demo were 2 OLED flagship TV’s equipped with AI, offering jaw dropping stunning visuals.
Audio Note India:
Audio note is an audio manufacturer from UK making all the components used in their products in house, including some the capacitors and resistors used. This is attention to detail of highest order. Here, the demo was mostly aided by a Turntable and this was one of the best sounding rooms of the show.
Luxury Personified LLP:
Portable audio and headphones is one of the hottest category in audio growing at a phenomenal pace. Luxury Personified LLP was present in four rooms with 3 rooms being dedicated to portable audio. Highlight of these rooms was the Devialet room which was decorated like a hi- end club in which the white phantom speakers were dishing out high levels of ‘club’ sound. There was one room for Ultimate Ears bluetooth speakers and what we liked was that they actually immersed one speaker in water to show it’s waterproof capability! The third room was dedicated to Marshal bluetooth speakers and headphones where the retro themed scenarios were a treat to watch. The fourth room had some good looking audio from Piega on demo, which sadly we could not get an opportunity to listen to.
As in every season, newer and more comfortable recliners were showcased. What we really liked was a recliner couch with individual adjustments.
There were two adjacent rooms and many projectors on display. Highlight were the 4K projector models W11000H and X12000 with crisp pictures.
Pandam Professional Audio:
The majority of Genelec brand of speakers were showcased, notably the G Series and the newest series ‘The Ones’ along with their range of complementing subwoofers. We have heard them plenty of times and so nothing much to say other than if you know how Genelec speakers sound then you know what these speakers are capable of.
Pilakal Home Cinemas:
Being Bengaluru based dealers of Definitive Technology and Parasound brands, they showcased an HT demo comprising of these brands.
Distributor of Profigold, Bandridge, Valueline, Thonet & Vander, Sweex. Thonet & Vander speakers were on display, offering good sound for their price.
There were Full HD and 4k projectors on display, notably the TW650, TW5650 and LS10000, which incidentally is soon going to be replaced by the LS10500. The TW6700 model as seen in the picture was on demo.
KEI were ‘present’ at the show by means of a solitary standee that was strategically placed as well as having their rep doing the rounds at the show. We liked this ‘invisible yet visible’ presence of theirs!
Bengaluru’s and neighboring areas HT chain of stores was there with a strategy of showcasing as many products as was possible in one room. It was a litter of Focal speaker’s models at varying price points with an Accuphase amplifier being the jewel in the veritable mish-mash of equipment. Visitors (primarily existing customers of DNI) were impressed by HT demo as well as soundbar demo.
With that, we end our show coverage of the What HiFi Show 2018, Bengaluru. As is our perennial practice of covering each show taking place in India, we always state the facts, first and foremost as AV enthusiasts and second, as being part of the media responsible for providing an impartial coverage of what we experienced at the show. We would also like to add our observations of the show as the final curtain drop on the show coverage, as under:
Overall, the current Bengaluru What HiFi Show was better than the last one, though the number of end users including HiFi/ HT enthusiasts was remarkably less than what was desired by both, the show organizer’s as well as the exhibitors. We nonetheless appreciate the efforts of the show organizer’s team for ensuring a well organized and managed show.
We find it very strange that on one hand we have end users bitterly complaining on AV forums of the lack of avenues to see and hear various brands officially available in India but on the other hand these people do not attend such shows arranged specifically to cater to them. Due to this worrying aspect, we really do not see the viability of having such a show taking place in a vibrant city like Bengaluru in the future.
The hotel used as the venue of the show is quite good and relatively easily accessible to visitors, which is good but we noticed a couple of the rooms assigned to the exhibitors had peculiar issues with regard to the flooring. Having creaking and noisy loose wood planks was a huge irritant not only for the exhibitors but also to the visitors to those rooms as they robbed the pleasure of listening to a particular set up sans any ‘background’ sounds. A total disaster for the intended purpose of an AV show!
We were also expecting more exhibitors taking part in this show, notably the distributors of certain brands that are based in the southern regions of our country. A plausible reason for their non participation could be due to the fact that another competing show was to take place in Chennai later on in September this year. Nonetheless, we hope to see more exhibitors taking part in future shows so that the brands usually not visible other than the comfort zone areas of their distribution companies are visible and experienced by one and all attending such shows.
We now look forward to the next What HiFi show, hoping it to be even better than before! Thank you.